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Castle Menzies Gardens

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Main Gates
Main Gates
Old maps indicate that there were gardens in the present location to the north-east of the Castle from c. 1600. What exactly this area was used for initially is unclear as there were other formal gardens laid out in the area to the south of the Castle which were demolished at some point. It is thought that this may have been for defensive reasons, as the demolition happened at about the time of the last Jacobite uprising. Certainly, after this had happened attention seem to switch to the current site which were developed into three terraces of walled gardens over the course of the 18th and 19th Centuries.
With the terminal decline of the main family, the Gardens were essentially left to their own devices and over the years it became an almost impenetrable jungle of self-seeded vegetation as owners of the Castle concentrated their attention on the building rather than the grounds. It is this sad condition that the Clan Society was able to buy the Gardens in 1984. By this time only the top two terraces remained, nature having reclaimed the bottom, unenclosed terrace. With the assistance of a grant from the Countryside Commission, the remaining terraces were cleared and the central staircase was repaired.
Central Staircase
Central Staircase
Plaque Commemorating Archibald Menzies
Plaque Commemorating Archibald Menzies

Unfortunately, available resources are insufficient to do little more than keep what remains of the Gardens as neat and tidy as possible. However, with the assistance of the BBC gardening programme "The Beechgrove Garden" it was possible to plant out part of the upper terrace with some of the trees that Archibald Menzies identified or imported through his botanical work. This is an appropriate memorial, as Archibald Menzies was at one time an apprentice at the Castle Menzies Gardens.
Monkey Puzzle Tree Discovered by Archibald Menzies
Monkey Puzzle Tree Discovered by Archibald Menzies

Click here for a longer article about the Castle Gardens.


 
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